Thanks to a surfeit of mobile apps, like the ones featured here, business people can now perform a variety of business intelligence ERP tasks on their smartphones and tablets.
The massive take-up of mobile devices and their ability to understand, compare, order, and share information across social groups means all ERP systems have to think of the customer first and adjust their supply, manufacture, logistics, and marketing operations to fit what the customer wants, when and where he wants it.
In the future, this trend will accelerate so that customers will be an integral part of the supply planning process. The ability to interact with them at all levels at any time means that new product development, introductions, and deletions can be driven by direct customer interactions rather than by market studies. Prices can be tested and adjusted, service levels compared and changed, and margin models created by sharing social and incentivized communications.
Just as business is no longer confined by the walls of a company’s physical facilities, so has business intelligence (BI) largely untethered itself from the centralized workstation.
ERP out on the town.
Mobile BI is quickly becoming the principal way business users demand to consume analytics. What makes mobile BI so compelling is that it can be woven much more closely into where work is actually getting done: away from the office.
To meet this demand, business intelligence vendors are adding user interfaces for an iPad or smartphone. Some of these are generic apps that can be used for any type of analytics; others are geared to a specific field such as sales or title searches. The new mobile apps built on the Sybase Unwired Platform are aimed at the manufacturing, consumer products, utilities, high tech, oil and gas, and retail industries, and follow previous mobile CRM and Workflow offerings. The new mobile apps span customer service, sales, finance, retail, human resources, and other areas.
The group of users that benefits the most from mobile BI is not the majority of current BI consumers, namely analysts and report writers. It’s actually business users in the executive suite, sales, and field support that benefit the most.
6 ERP BI apps that will make your life easier:
- IBM Cognos Mobile –IBM’s mobile business intelligence app extends interactive Cognos Business Intelligence to a range of mobile devices, including the Apple iPhone and iPad, Android and BlackBerry phones, and Playbook. Users can view and fully interact with Cognos reports, dashboards, metrics, analysis, and other information.
- Yellowfin – With Yellowfin, users can query many different databases and combine multiple data sources (databases and CSV files) to create a single report or dashboard without having to build a data warehouse. The Java mobile application resents users the same view as on their desktop, but in a browser. The application can work online or offline.
- MicroStrategy Mobile App Platform lets customers build mobile apps that deliver business intelligence, transactions, and multimedia content based on information from existing data warehousing, business intelligence, ERP, CRM, and other information systems.
- Roambi takes data from a variety of sources – including SAP BusinessObjects, IBM Cognos, OBIEE, Microsoft Reporting and Analysis Services, as well as Excel, Google Docs, Salesforce, and more – and presents the data on an iPad or iPhone.
- SAP Business Objects Explorer brings SAP’s Business Objects analytics to iPhones and iPads.
- ServiceSource Renew Analytics App – ServiceSource’s mobile-enabled app tracks key performance drivers related to recurring revenue business. It provides role-based access to real-time data sources and presents a dashboard containing analyses of historical metrics and forecasts. Users can drill down to take a deeper look at the underlying data.
Using an app is not about just consuming information; it’s about having the freedom to complete a task as you would from a computer from anywhere on the job. Users now have the ability to design their own dashboards to create an experience that is most beneficial to them for their specific job function.
Sarah Boisvert has written blogs for a variety of businesses including a laser manufacturer and a title agency. She has experience in all aspects of management including, marketing, sales, and finance.